NYPA Announces North Country Large-Scale Energy Storage Project Construction Start


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Franklin County Project to Advance Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Target of 3 GW of Energy Storage by 2030

New York State Vendor to Build Nation-leading Battery Storage Project That Will Help Alleviate Transmission Constraints

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced the start of construction on a large-scale, 20 megawatt (MW) energy battery storage project in Northern New York, one of the largest such projects in the nation. The innovative facility, located in Franklin County at the top of the state, will advance progress toward achieving New York’s ambitious target to have 3,000 megawatts of energy storage deployed by 2030 – the equivalent of powering 40 percent of New York’s homes. The project is expected to be in service early next year.

“This innovative storage project is a significant step for the continued growth of renewable energy in New York State,” said Judge Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA vice chairman and Massena resident. “The North Country is the ideal location to model a large-scale battery storage facility because of the proximity of the St. Lawrence hydropower project and extensive wind resources. Being able to store this renewable energy will improve transmission of the state’s electric power to downstate markets while promoting economic growth in upstate New York.”

The battery storage facility, which is located in Chateaugay, adjacent to an existing NYPA substation, will be the second of its kind in New York State*  – the only battery storage project that is New York State owned and operated – and among the largest such facilities in the country.  The project will include a unique one-hour lithium-ion battery system that will help New York State meet its peak power needs by absorbing excess generation that can be discharged later, based upon the changing needs of the grid.

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“This transformative energy storage project will enable us to integrate more renewable energy, such as hydro, wind and solar, into the New York State grid,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “These large-scale batteries are one of the keys to growing renewables. With these projects, we can store energy for times of high demand and give our transmission system greater flexibility and resiliency. Storing renewable energy also is critical to helping New York State meet Governor Cuomo’s aggressive clean energy targets and to fighting climate change.”

The NYPA Board of Trustees approved $23.8 million for the project in 2019 at its July 30 meeting. The total estimated project cost is $29.8 million – $6 million of which was initially approved by the NYPA board in October 2018.

Increasing energy storage capabilities also helps to realize the Governor’s bold climate change mitigation policies which aim to reduce the state’s carbon footprint to zero by 2040 and ensure that 70 percent of the State’s electricity supply comes from renewables by 2030. 

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The work is being undertaken by O’Connell Electric Company, Inc., of Victor, N.Y. in Ontario County in the Finger Lakes region. The firm was awarded a three-year engineering, procurement and construction contract in the amount of $22.6 million by the NYPA Board of Trustees last year in a competitive bidding process.

The project’s strategic location in Northern New York is significant in encouraging efficient, reliable renewable energy growth. More than 80 percent of the region’s electricity supply comes from renewable resources, including NYPA’s St. Lawrence hydropower project and more than 650 MW of local wind generation. Having the capability to store renewable energy for later delivery also will help eliminate current transmission constraints that can prevent energy from being delivered to consumers.

The energy storage system will supply the New York wholesale energy and ancillary service markets and will contribute to the reliability of the supply of electric power in New York.  

Senator Betty Little said, “The North Country has been a renewable energy leader. This storage system is important to help us achieve a better energy future. Franklin County is the right place for this kind of innovation and I am grateful that Governor Cuomo and NYPA have looked to our region for this kind of investment.”

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Assemblyman Billy Jones said, “Northern New York is once again demonstrating it is a leader in supporting renewable energy with the construction of the battery storage project. The project will promote renewable energy by providing a reliable and economic benefit to New York’s electric power system.”

Chateaugay Town Supervisor Donald Bilow said, “As a community Chateaugay has been very supportive of the development of renewable energy. I am pleased to see construction of the battery storage project is moving forward to provide 20 megawatts of storage.”

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